Category: Policy

Growth of internet applications

Over the last week we’ve been lucky enough to uncover some fantasic infographics that help make sense of the data emerging about the growth of mobile money across SSA, the increase in internet connectivity, and the rise in ownership of smartphones. As we see…

Mentorship for young African entrepreneurs

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama and Ugandan multi-millionaire tycoon Ashish J. Thakkar, on Friday officially launched Mara Mentor, an African multi-lingual online portal and mobile App for youth mentorship and entrepreneurship, in Ghana, as part of his government’s efforts in cultivating…

Building the impact investing market

Fishermen pull their fishing boat to the shore after their day’s job on Marina beach in the southern Indian city of Chennai March 18, 2014. REUTERS/Babu When the UK’s Department for International Development [DFID] launched the Impact Programme, just over a…

Tools to improve African agriculture

The Atlas of African Agriculture Research & Development weaves a picture through maps that shows the opportunities for increased smallholder productivity in Africa. (shutterstock) The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) recently published The Atlas of African Agriculture Research & Development (Atlas), which…

Impact investing in francophone Africa

Issam Chleuh is the 27-year-old Malian national and founder of the Africa Impact Group, an advisory, research, data and news service provider that specialises in impact investing in francophone Africa. Impact investing refers to investments made into companies or funds…

A green revolution in Africa

Last month was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution. In 1944, Borlaug moved to Mexico to work on breeding high-yield, disease-resistant strains of wheat. Mexico adopted them — and in 1970, wheat…

Small Farms, Big Funding Gap

New research from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance reveals that local bank lending to smallholder farmers – which should be a main avenue for improving their access to finance – amounts to only $9 billion. That number represents less than 3 percent of…

India CSR bill creates ripples in the social sector

I recently attended the World Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Summit in Mumbai which brought together nearly thirty heads of CSR departments and as many NGOs. The primary areas of discussion were the implications of the new 2% CSR policy included in the new Companies Bill in India.
The Indian parliament is currently in the process of[…..]

Closing the Pioneer Gap

In April 2012, Monitor Inclusive Markets published From Blueprint to Scale: The Case for Philanthropy in Impact Investing, in collaboration with Acumen Fund and with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The report examines which types of funding are the most catalytic for growing social enterprises, from the earliest blueprint phase when business[…..]

Measurement of social impact

Kevin Starr, who among other things runs the Mulago Foundation, penned a provocative, must-read series of posts on Stanford Social Innovation Review titled “The Problem with Impact investing (Pt. 1, Pt. 2, and Pt. 3).
He leads off his last post in the series with the sub-header “Real impact investing is not for[…..]